I am a nurse. Venting about how I feel.

Nurses General Nursing


These are some of the ways that I feel as a nurse on any given day. . . . and frankly sometimes at any given time of the day:

I am a nurse.

Some days I hate my job, some days I love my job. Some days I loathe my job. Sometimes walking through the door of the hospital makes me cranky.

Most days I leave hot, sweaty, grimy, and vaguely dissatisfied knowing that despite all of the work that I did I still didn't finish everything on my to-do list.

I am an interpreter. I break down the medical language in a way that the family can understand.

I am a patient advocate. I am the voice of the patient and uphold my patient's wishes even if it doesn't jive with my own ideals or the ideals of the physicians I work with.

I am smart. I have committed myself to a field that requires me to be ever vigilant and ever cognizant of the changes and advances in medicine.

I am empathetic. I have cried with my patients and my families when the end of life has come.

I am not an angel of mercy that swoops down from some unknown height to magically care for my patient. I am simply one person who gives of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. I do the best that I can with the information I'm given and the situation I'm presented with. That's all I can do.

Sometimes, I feel I am the torturer. When care is proceeding on a chronically critically ill patient that is mouthing "kill me" and "stop it" that the family won't let go of, and the skin is sloughing off, and fluids are pouring from every orifice, I am the one to do the turns and the mouth care, I am the one that wipes the stool from the angry tissue, I am the one that changes the dressings on the skin that will not heal. I am the one that tries not to split the skin simply by placing a pillow for limb elevation. I change the linens 4 and 5 times a shift because the serous fluid is saturating the sheets faster than I can keep them dry. I perform range of motion on the stiff and aching limbs that bring the grimaces and the tears because a bed has been their home for weeks and months on end. I care for the fluid engorged private parts and elevate the scrotums that are the size of basketballs. These are the times I hate the most.

I am the coordinator. I work with pharmacy and respiratory and nutrition and primary service and consulting services and PT and OT, etc., etc. I do my best to coordinate all of the teams in the mutual goal of patient healing.

I am the guard. I keep the watch and record the vitals and the outputs of various fluids. I watch for appropriate orders and I question those orders that aren't so good . . .

I am the eyes and ears. I am the sight and the instincts for the physicians when they are in the OR or with another patient.

I am patience.

I am the punching bag. When things aren't going well, I am the scape-goat for all of the patient's and/or family's abuses be it mental, verbal or physical.

I am the support. I stand with you and stand watch over you when your family doesn't visit.

I am the complaint department.

I am the go-for. I gather the supplies with which your care is done. Sometimes that means going on raids to different departments.

I am tweaker. When I am waiting for the titration of the medicine to hit the sweet spot and find the right dose, I am the tweaker.

I am the pain bringer. When I poke and prod to find the vein or when I'm telling a patient to swallow while their eyes are watering and they are gagging from placing and NG tube or a Dobhoff tube, I bring pain.

I am the enforcer. When the patient wants to lay in bed, I am the one that sets the rules for getting out of bed and increasing mobility and turn/cough/deep breathing to prevent pneumonia, I am the drill sergeant.

I am the maid. I clean both the patient and the room. I am the spill cleaner and the accident fixer.

I am the monitor. I evaluate endless streams of data - vital signs, EKGs, labs, inputs, outputs . . . ..

I am finesse. When there are twenty and more pumps and infusions running I find the compatibility.

I am the mechanic. When the CVVH is alarming or the pump is screaming I am the fixer.

I am truth. Sometimes I tell the truth whether you want to hear it or not.


Please add on. I'm finding this is a good list for venting.

Specializes in ICU.

I am cheerleader and coach, coaxing "just a few more steps," or "let's make it to the door this time." I rejoice with the Guillain-Barre pt as she gets movement back bit by bit. I help the post-surgical pt cough and deep breathe so he doesn't get pneumonia. And I encourage pts to follow through on their treatment plan after they go home, so they don't have to come back and see me for the same problem.

Specializes in L&D, Maternal Fetal Medicine, LTC.

I simply want to say, Thank you, for that post. It was wonderful and summed it all up.


Specializes in Pediatric CICU.

Misty I love this post, you have gracefully placed into words all of the emotions I have experienced in my short nursing career. I would like to print this post and place it in my unit as sometimes I feel management loses sight of what a bedside nurse lives and breathes.

I am the listener. Patients are many times afraid to discuss emotions with physicians or even family, and find themselves trusting their nurse with deep rooted and complex emotions. I truly listen and will at times cry with my patient.

I am the inspirer. It's horrifying and anxiety producing to be in hospital for certain patients. I must diffuse, distract, and bring positive energy.

Specializes in Surg/ortho.

Wow.....that brought tears to my eyes :yelclap:

Specializes in Home Health, SNF.

Wow. This was a great post and just what I needed at this time. Corporate is riding our a###s about our new computer charting, the patient care get lost in the shuffle. I agree with a previous post, this should be put out there for all nurses to see.



Specializes in LTC.

I agree this is a great post!!:yeah: It discribes nursing perfectly.:up:

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care, OB/GYN, Peds,.

I am the comforter and help your pain by giving meds, holding your hand, singing to you or just listening when you are anxious. I am your family member when you have no one who visits you. I am your teacher and help you to learn how to care for yourself and take your meds or teach your family how to take care of you. Yes, sometimes I am an angel who sits with you as you go gently into the next life to help make your transition peaceful. Thank you for starting this thread. We are worth so much more than they will ever be able to pay but I am counting on my reward being in heaven.:redpinkhe

beautifully stated!

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.


And on my last shift, I was also air conditioner repairman and bug catcher.

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